We are told that “hate does more damage to the vessel in which it is kept, than on the object on which it is poured”. So often we are angry with others, yet they neither know nor care about how we feel. Our emotions have no impact on them although it eats us up inside.
The word of God instructs us not ‘to let the sun go down on our wrath’, but to reconcile ourselves to peace through forgiveness.
Even further, when the disciples asked the Lord to teach them how to pray, He included “…and forgive us our sins, AS we forgive those who trespass against us”. Clearly specifying that if we fail to forgive others, then our father in Heaven will not forgive us our sins either.
You are probably thinking, it is easy to say, “forgive”. Yet, when faced with the vile acts of others, it is difficult to actually forgive. Sometimes there are also things that are just too hard to relinquish.
How about the murder of a loving parent? Sexual assault on your child? Being the victim of incest or physical abuse? Not so easy, is it? What about borrowed money not returned, insults in public and deliberate betrayal?
If we are honest too, all of us may find at least one thing that mortified us to the extent that we have yet to let go of it. Sometimes we have buried it so deep that we believe that it has been dealt with, until it rears its ugly head at the slightest cause.
Yet, think about all the times that we have hurt the Lord. The times we deliberately disobeyed or failed to do His will. What about those vows we made? What if the Lord were to put the forgiveness of our sins on a scale of ‘simple enough’ and ‘too hard’ to do?
Happily, however, God’s plan includes His forgiveness to us; our own forgiveness to our selves and our forgiveness to others. The conviction from our sins should lead us to godly repentance and the receipt of His forgiveness. In like manner, we need to forgive others as we expect Him to forgive us. Then, finally, we need to forgive our own selves.
Let us recognize that the spirit of unforgiveness is subtle and persistent. The adversary also knows how vital forgiveness is in our walk. Therefore, even though it may seem simple, let us not overlook it, as it could easily be the stumbling block that leads us to hell.
Is the spirit of unforgiveness alive and well in you? Pluck out the unwanted seed – or starve it to death with love.